Race Ambassador’s View
“ I may be biased as a life long Queenslander, but North Queensland is a perfect location to showcase adventure racing in Australia. The variety of terrain, tough but beautiful weather conditions, wildlife, rainforest and welcoming communities will provide a unique experience to all coming, especially international competitors. I’ve just spent my summer holidays in the region but Red Bull Defiance will be no holiday; more like pain in paradise! ” :: Courtney Atkinson – RED BULL ATHLETE
Red Bull Defiance is made up of six key stages spread over 2 days. There are also mystery disciplines that test the teams skills and courage. Each day has a run, bike and water-based activity as its core activity, but the relative difficulty of each is different on each day. There is no doubt that day 1 is the most physically demanding in terms of endurance and how teams ‘race’ day 1 will have a profound impact on how competitors feel for day 2. The course navigates through stunning and varied terrain, taking in rainforest and coastal environments. Those teams that make it to the finish will be able to reflect on the challenge; the intensity and the reward of completing an epic 2 day adventure race against a backdrop of the Cassowary Coast of North Queensland.
Day 1 Route
A big day for a big race! Teams start with a wild whitewater raft down the Tully River Gorge. A succession of rapids will see adrenaline levels rising as teams make their way downstream to the first Transition. Next up is a classic run through the rainforest, with teams climbing almost 1100m on the way. Midway along the route teams will take on a mystery challenge. The final stage of Day 1 is an iconic mountain bike ride along then Gorrell Track. Technical, challenging terrain will test tired teams to the limit. Those who have taken their time will have to watch out for the cut off. Watch out for all sorts of interesting fauna and flora on this epic day of adventure.
Day 2 Route
The second day of racing at Red Bull Defiance Australia has a coastal theme and will be fast and furious. Teams start on their bikes from Race HQ and will enjoy some golden sand, single track and mountain bike park action. Then it’s a ocean paddle to visit the islands offshore. On arrival at Dunk Island, teams will leave their kayaks and head off on a run over the summit ridge, before heading back to they kayaks. A couple of mystery activities on the islands will add further spice to the day. A short paddle back to the mainland is followed by a run up the beach to the finish, bringing the event to a close for those mentally and physically strong enough to Defy the Odds.
Stage 1 :: Rafting
Red Bull Defiance teams begin their two day adventure with a gripping whitewater raft down through the Tully Gorge. The Tully River is regarded as Australia’s premier rafting location, with grade 3-4 level rapids plunging through World Heritage Rainforest. Recently announced as home to the 2019 IRF World Rafting Championships, teams will experience big waves, drops and action packed rapids, as they make their way down the Tully River from Cardstone Village to the Tully River Bridge. Expect to see a mixture of fear and exhilaration on competitor faces as they begin their quest to Defy the Odds.
Stage 2 :: Run/Abseil
Initially, the trail follows an old logging road beside Cochable Creek past a succession of rapids and deep pools. Then it veers away from the road, and climbs over a steep ridge, crossing several creeks along the way. It is a solid climb that passes spectacular mature rainforest. From the ridge, the trail descends into a steep gorge, emerging at the base of an unnamed waterfall that plunges from a sheer rock escarpment into a deep pool. Above here, the trail climbs the gorge wall onto a basaltic plateau above the pool. The trail follows the rim of the gorge, crossing the creek only a few meters above the waterfall. This strenuous route is an outstanding wilderness experience.
Stage 3 :: Mountain Bike
Inland from the immaculate paradise of Mission Beach lies the Gorrell Track. It’s an old road, forced through the jungle long ago, part of an effort to connect the tablelands to the coast, passing through some of the most densely vegetated slopes imaginable. It’s proper rainforest out there, the air is thick with moisture, soaked with adventure! While the whole trail is fire road, this is not a groomed ride, and the surface beneath you ranges from slippery clay to lumpy bits of black volcanic rock, with technical sections to conquer. The climbs are long, but the descents feel longer (and fast too), as the track plunges from valley to valley, with river crossings galore in between. Memorable from start to finish.
Stage 4 :: Mountain Bike
World Heritage Rainforest wraps around this stage from Mission Beach for a beautiful ride over a number of freshwater creek bridges through Djiru National Park. A fast start will see teams race along the beach, before climbing along the El Arish – MissionBeach road to join the MusgraveaTrack. This trail follows an old forestry road used in the 1960s and 1970s to haul timber from South Mission Beach to the El Arish timber mill. A mainly flat trail ride to reach the Mountain Bike Park follows where teams can then put their skills to the test.
Stage 5 :: Kayak
Get in your kayak and set sail (or paddles) to the paradise that is Bedarra Island which is in the middle of Family Islands National Park. The island consists of pristine coral sandy beaches with coves formed by giant granite boulders and fringed with lush green jungle. Bedarra is a continental island made up of granite boulder formations that rise to moderately high rocky peaks. Teams will face a mystery challenge before jumping back in their kayaks and heading for another island paradise, Dunk Island.
Stage 6 :: Run/Kayak/Run
Dunk Island lies just 4 km off the east coast, opposite Race HQ at Mission Beach. Like Bedarra, the island forms part of the Family Islands National Park and is in the larger Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The island is surrounded by reefs and has a diverse population of birds. The Bandjin and Djiru peoples once used the island as a source of food. Teams will complete a sensational 10km run across its spine and along its white sand beach, before jumping back into kayaks to the mainland. From here, a leg sapping 7km run up the beach will see teams finish at Castaways Resort – The Odds Defied and an epic 2 day adventure complete.
|Discipline||Distance||Alt Gain||Fast Time|
|Stage 1: Rafting||10km||+0m||1:10hrs|
|Stage 2: Run/Abseil||23km||+1080m||2:45hrs|
|Stage 3: Mountain Bike||53km||+1000m||3:30hrs|
|Stage 4: Mountain Bike||22km||-150m||1:00hrs|
|Stage 5: Kayak||18km||+0m||2:05hrs|
|Stage 6: Run/Kayak/Run||22km||+280m||2:05hrs|
Stage 1 Profile
Stage 2 Profile
Stage 3 Profile
Stage 4 Profile
Stage 5 Profile
Stage 6 Profile
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